Monday, April 12, 2010

Transplant patients: the importance of organ donation

Ayesha Ahmed was diagnosed with an incurable lung disease three years ago and is now waiting for a double lung transplant.

By Caroline Gammell

Photo: PA
The 16-year-old was originally not listed for a transplant as her condition - Wegener's Granulomatosis – is so rare.

However, she is now in the process of getting onto the transplant list.

On Sunday, she told The Daily Telegraph how important it was for people to continue donating organs and what a critical situation she is in.

"It seems like my life is a huge maybe and the maybe is like a rope I'm holding onto keeping me from falling into the dark abyss below.

"Without a transplant I will not make it out of my teens. It is not only vital to keep me alive but also to drastically improve the quality of my life.”

“Most of my teenage years have been spent in hospital. Without a transplant I won't get the chance to live my life and have normal experiences.

“Hopefully I will get a second chance to live my life and be able to do things I haven’t had the chance to do.

“I am an A* student and I still try to do as much school work and exams as possible but it is hard to keep up."

Ayesha, from Newcastle, is reliant on a ventilator and supported by the charity Breathe On which gives help to people and their families on long term ventilation.

Victoria Townsend, chief executive of the charity which is under threat financially, said it was vital organ donation continues.

“People are going to be scared out of their wits by what has been going on with the records,” she said.

“However the most important thing is the health of the nation and there are so many people desperate for a transplant.”

Rachael Wakefield, 22, waited over a year for her double lung transplant and was finally operated on last month.

She has suffered from lung disease from the age of 15 but on Sunday walked 50 meters without ventilation and will soon be out of intensive care.

She told The Daily Telegraph: "If my donor family had not taken the decision to donate their loved one's organs I would not be here today.

"Mistakes and glitches happen unfortunately but something such as this should not put people off organ donation.

"Before organ donation takes place donor families are given space, time and a lot of support from transplant coordinators to help decide if organ donation is right for them and their loved one.

"Organ donation is the gift of life and should not be viewed any other way."

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Register to be an organ and tissue donor & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network. NEW for Ontario: - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today! For other Canadian provinces click here
In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves
Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant.

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